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Alexander & The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day [DVD]
Alexander & The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day [DVD]
Dvd ~ Steve Carell
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming fun, 6 April 2015
I watched this with my 6 year old and we both loved it. It's silly in places but also laugh out loud funny. As a working mother with what sometimes seems like a chaotic family life, it was nice to see a film about parents who are not perfect and their imperfect children, without any sense of judgment.


The House We Grew Up In
The House We Grew Up In
by Lisa Jewell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book, 3 Jan. 2014
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I have read all the author's books but kept putting this off as the 'blurb' didn't really do much for me. Once I started reading however I was hooked and had a couple of late nights to finish it. This is not really chick lit, in that it's not just pure entertainment dealing with lmatters. The themes are extremely heavyweight and at times the book very sad. All of the characters do pretty unlikeable things, because they are damaged. It is a testament to the author's talent that you still fall in love with them, despite of this.


A Night on the Orient Express
A Night on the Orient Express
by Veronica Henry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.49

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun holiday read, 8 July 2013
If you like Veronica Henry you will probably love this, and it's a good introduction to her writing, although it's certainly not her best book. I read the book in about 4 hours over one weekend, it's a very easy read and perfect for a long journey or reading on the beach. The characters are well drawn and you are quickly pulled into their storylines. My only criticism is that the book felt short and a little insubstantial. Lots of potential storylines were not explored, meaning questions left unanswered, e.g. what happens to Beth? Is Simon's ex-wife really the monster she was portrayed as, and how does she react to the situation? How does the real world react to the major life decisions the characters make whilst on this short trip? Does Adele go to see Jack? To be fair, it is a reflection on the quality of the writing that you want to know, and each of the individual stories is interesting enough to base a book on. I wonder if there will be a sequel to answer some of these questions? Hope so.


Whose Life is it Anyway?
Whose Life is it Anyway?
by Sinead Moriarty
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Good read, but clumsily done, 20 July 2012
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I really like this author and have enjoyed several of her other books which did not give any clue as to the problems I would have with this one. The main character is Niamh is engaging and there is enough of a plot to carry the story along, so it's certainly readable. As some of the other reviews have touched on, the way the inter-racial relationship is handled is difficult to stomach. Although this is an Irish Catholic family, they are living in London and it is set (I believe) in the nineties. At times this was hard to believe given the racist attitudes shown by the Irish family, indeed some of the episodes were borderline offensive. I certainly cringed inwardly during one or two of the episodes. It's perfectly plausible that a family might have reservations about their daughter getting engaged to someone from a different culture (although that's hardly the case - they've both been living in London for ages) that she hasn't known that long, but it's hard to accept that a normal family would react in as extreme a way as in this story....and then turn around within a matter of days and decide everything's ok after all. At the same time the fact that they are getting married prematurely and are likely to face some real obstacles is glossed over. Pierre is not a very well-rounded character, save that he would have to be a saint to put up what he put up with. There's a fair amount to like about this book but the over-the-top treatment of this issue lets it down.


Adulthood [DVD] [2008]
Adulthood [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Noel Clarke
Offered by streetsahead
Price: £4.91

5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning film, 5 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Adulthood [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
I liked Kidulthood and have been meaning to watch this for years. This is of course a follow up to Kidulthood but it's quite a different film in some ways. It's still a gritty urban drama but both the writing and acting seemed to me far mature than in the previous film. I was far more involved in the film than I expected to be, on the edge of my seat towards the end. Noel Clarke is a great actor and I really cared what happened to him, to the point of being on the edge of my seat towards the end of the film. The characters are complex and as sympathetic as they can be in the context. I loved the ending - there is hope...


Little Norse Prince [DVD] [1968]
Little Norse Prince [DVD] [1968]
Dvd ~ Isao Takahata
Price: £9.50

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely animated film from earlier days of Japanese animation, 1 Jun. 2010
My boyfriend bought me the DVD of this film as a gift believing it would be similar to Spirited Away and Howls Moving Castle, which I am a great fan of. We watched it together and at first I was slightly disappointed at the animation which seemed somehow less magical and captivating than in those films. It also seemed a little slower to get going, taking perhaps 20 minutes before I was truly involved in the film and could not have stopped watching. I am glad we persevered - when Hols gets to the village and meets Hilda the film comes to life and becomes emotionally involving. In some ways the film is dark and sinister due to the threat of death hanging over the characters including children, but the themes are of innocence and love overcoming evil through perseverance. It was moving and I did have a tear in my eye at the end! What I did not realise until looking it up on Amazon was that this film was made in 1968 - over 40 years old. So whilst the animation does not look groundbreaking by today's standards it certainly stands up well. I did notice some mistakes in the English subtitles, but nothing that detracts from enjoyment of the film.


The Other Family
The Other Family
by Joanna Trollope
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly disappointing, 9 Mar. 2010
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This review is from: The Other Family (Hardcover)
First a confession - I have not yet managed to finish this book, so maybe it's nto entirely fair to review it at this stage. I am about 4/5 of the way through and not sure if I will finish it. I am a massive fan of Joanna Trollope and have read all of her other books. I really enjoyed her last book (Friday Nights) which seemed to be in her usual style but slightly updated. I am not sure where she has gone wrong here but I have found this novel very hard to get into. I expected to enjoy it as I am interested in any story dealing with these sorts of issues, e.g. second families. I think the main problem is that most of the characters are deeply flawed and really quite unpleasant but this is not something which is acknowledged or dealt with in the book in any way. For example the main character Chrissie had an adulterous affair with a married man with a young son, and once he left his wife for her and they started their own family she encouraged him to forget about his son and even after her husband's death begrudges the son any acknowledgement and even his very existence. Save for one, her daughters are equally weak and selfish. The son is not unlikeable but is a fairly poorly developed character in the book - he seems to have very little personality. Most of the characters act so selfishly that I found it actually quite unrealistic - in my experience people do usually try to do the right thing even if they don't manage it. Plus no-one in the book seems to get much enjoyment out of life, which makes it a rather joyless read. If you are a die-hard Trollope fan you will probably want to try it anyway but if you are not, I would try one of her other books first.


The Stepmothers' Support Group
The Stepmothers' Support Group
by Sam Baker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 4 Mar. 2010
I found this a touching and sympathetic novel. I knew that Sam Baker is a step-mother before I read the book but it would have been obvious from reading it. She has a real understanding of the issues and difficulties that can arise for both step-parents (willing or otherwise) and step-children. Although it's a very common situation that does not mean it's easy. I could really identify with the female characters and found them all likeable even when their behaviour was not. The male characters were possibly less well drawn and less sympathetic as a result...they seemed to have more weaknesses than the women. But then people do not always behave well under pressure. I am hoping there will be a sequel as I would love to know what becomes of the people and their relationships in five years time...


A Place Called Here
A Place Called Here
by Cecelia Ahern
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing and sinister, 29 Dec. 2009
This review is from: A Place Called Here (Paperback)
Often I feel when reading through the reviews of books I have read that I don't have much too add, if I have enjoyed a book (or not) then it's likely someone else has felt the same way. With this book I am surprised that no one else seems to have felt this book was quite frightening and sinister. I was alone in the house when I started reading it and had difficulty getting to sleep that night! Sometimes that can be a good thing but not in this case. I found the storyline quite sinister and chilling, particularly as you don't know where it is going until the end. Even at the end, there is no real resolution, at least not a particuarly satisfying one. The main character is very disturbed and in need of psychiatric help in a way that is difficult to get your head around in a 'chick lit' book. Marian Keyes also deals with very dark themes but in a much more reader friendly way, so you can still symathise with the characters. I did finish this book but it depressed me and the enjoyment I got from reading the book was not enough to make up for that.


Beat the Bitch: How to Stop the Other Woman Stealing Your Man
Beat the Bitch: How to Stop the Other Woman Stealing Your Man
by Tess Stimson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat disappointing, 16 Dec. 2009
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The glowing reviews of this book, and the fact that I have loved all of Tess Stimson's novels, led me to order this from Amazon. If you are a fan, be warned, this is quite a different book. It is not a work of fiction but a kind of self-help/relationship manual for people who believe that all men are unfaithful or that their own partner is being unfaithful. The best parts of the book are where she is talking about her own experiences of being on both sides of the fence, i.e. a mistress and a cuckolded wife. She does also have some meaningful things to say about marriage i.e. that it is hard work and you cannot expect to glide through any long-term relationship without difficult patches. However she comes across as a woman with a very old fashioned view of life and relationships that I found hard to warm to - a pair of diamond earrings is no cure for a broken heart no matter how many carats! The main thrust of her relationship advice is to make sure you never refuse your partner sex and initiate it as often as possible, which I find simplistic and lacking in realism. It is a fun enough read though and probably does have some practical tips if you genuinely fear your partner is being unfaithful and don't know what to do.


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